Data derived from a large cohort of hemodialysis patients (12,896) undergoing dialysis access maintenance procedures being performed by interventional nephrologists were analyzed to determine the safety of sedation/analgesia (S/A) in a freestanding facility. Data collected included patient demographics, procedures performed, time of procedures, drugs used, doses used, and complications that occurred. Four high-risk groups were identified based upon age, pulmonary status, and over all physical status. These were compared to the total cohort. Midazolam, fentanyl, or a combination of the two were used. Within the total cohort of patients, midazolam alone was used most commonly (94.7%). The total mean dose of midazolam when used alone was 3.4 mg. The dosages used in the high-risk groups tended to be only slightly lower (3-3.2 mg). This setting appears to be safe for hemodialysis patients, even those in high-risk subgroups having these types of procedures. The types of drugs and the dosages that are commonly used do not appear to be associated with an unacceptable risk to the hemodialysis patient. A nephrologist that is not specialty trained in anesthesia is able to provide S/A safely in a freestanding facility.
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.